Bulldogs Take Their Lumps in First Game of the Season

By Sue Moore

“The score looks worse than the actual game,” Coach Tom Marchese said after a Vicksburg Bulldog football loss to Dowagiac, 32-14 Thursday night. He told the team afterwards that “It’s never as bad as it is and never as good as it is. We missed some opportunities and we have work to do before facing Edwardsburg on Sept. 6 at home.

“The first game of the season is always important to get the kinks worked out. The most improvement comes from game one to game two, when players get up to speed. Most if not all the breakdowns are correctable,” Marchese said.

There were six turnovers by the Bulldogs, three picks and three fumbles that gave the Chieftains twenty points that worked against Vicksburg which Marchese focused on in reviewing the game. “Our defense played well, stopping Dowagiac twice in the red zone. On offense, we were able to create some holes as running back Nick Wallace picked up 150 yards for the night,” he noted.

“You always fear too many penalties, special team breakdowns and missqueues in an opening game and we had plenty of them. We held them until the end of the third quarter when the score was 20-14 but the mistakes were telling in the fourth,” he said.

“Our goal for the team is to continually get to the playoffs and not have it be an aberration,” Marchese said. In his five seasons in Vicksburg as coach, the team has been in the playoffs twice. “We will benefit from a new video system that the conference has initiated this year. We will download game film on computer, be able to analyze and breakdown by plays, all the action of our next opponent. Previously coaches had to meet somewhere and exchange video of the previous game. Now we have it the next day and can watch, even on a smart phone,” he explained.

Quarterback Dalton Ketelaar
Quarterback Dalton Ketelaar
There were no injuries except some bumps and bruises that Doctor Willmeng will see too when he makes his usual Monday rounds, checking on the players before he goes off to his real job as a specialist in sports medicine at Bronson Orthopedics, the coach reported. He is grateful for the care that Doc Willmeng gives the boys and also for the trainers that are grad students in Western Michigan University’s medical program.

The second game of the season pits Vicksburg against Edwardsburg, another tough team from the West Division of the Wolverine Conference.

The annual community Tailgate celebration will take place before this home game from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on the area just north of the stadium. The entire community is encouraged to attend. There will be free hot dogs and the chance to visit with vendors who support the school system, according to Tonya Nash, coordinator for the event for the Community Education Department and then of course, take in the football game and the band’s special performance

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